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Call Congress: National Day of Action for Colombia

You know the truth about Colombia.

Politicians in Washington claim more military aid and a so-called U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement will improve security and foster economic growth.

But you know that $6 billion in U.S. military aid has failed to bring peace to Colombia. In fact, 30,000 civilians have been killed and another 3.3 million have been driven from their homes by the conflict since U.S. military aid began in 2000. And a NAFTA-styled free trade agreement may boost corporate profits, but it will also put workers and the environment at risk.

Now is your chance to tell Washington the truth. Join tens of thousands from across the United States in a National Day of Action for Peace in Colombia by contacting your representatives in Washington to call for peace and economic justice for Colombia.

Click here to find the contact information for your member of the House of Representatives.

Click here to find the contact information for your Senators.

When you call, ask to be transferred to the foreign policy aide. You may be transferred to their voicemail, so be ready to leave a message.

After you call, make sure you click here to send an email through our online action center.

Here are talking points for your to reference during your conversation:

I am calling because I am concerned about U.S. foreign policy and trade policy with Colombia. I have followed both U.S. relations with Colombia and that country's internal conflict closely.

I believe that U.S. policy should:

  • Forge economic ties that spur people-centered development and help create opportunities for the rural poor and endangered workers. The protection of human rights defenders, community and religious leaders and people working for land return must be a priority. I do not believe the U.S. government should move forward with a free trade agreement (FTA) with Colombia.  Experience indicates that the FTA will exacerbate Colombia’s human rights and humanitarian crisis.  Already union leaders are being assassinated, the land rights of farmers and indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities are being undermined and millions of people have been violently robbed of their homes. The recently signed "Action Plan" will not lead to any significant lasting change on these key concerns.

  • Support negotiations for a peaceful end to the armed conflict. After 50 years of war, with a new Colombian Administration there is now a window of opportunity to reach a peace agreement that the U.S. can support. I do not believe that the U.S. should continue military solutions to the conflict. Our military strategy in Colombia has only fueled violence and displacement.  It is not a “success” that should be replicated elsewhere.  Demilitarization of U.S. policy should begin by cancelling U.S. contracts for construction on Colombian military bases and suspending assistance to the Colombian military.

  • Prioritize social and humanitarian funding to protect and assist internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees.   The U.S. should promote lasting solutions for the Colombian refugees and IDPs.

  • Invest in drug prevention and rehabilitation programs to reduce demand for drugs here at home.  Congress should also increase funding and accountability for programs that promote sustainable economic development in Colombia. The United States should ensure that such programs are designed in consultation with Colombian small-scale farmers, indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities and not be carried out in partnership with the military. I do not believe in the continuation of inhumane and ineffective forced eradication programs, including aerial fumigation.  A decade has proven that these programs displace farmers, threaten food crops, and jeopardize human health and the environment even as they fail to reduce coca production.